Slovenian-Russian economic cooperation
In recent years, the Russian Federation has seen moderate economic growth, despite the restrictive measures of the EU and the USA, as well as Russian counter-sanctions to support domestic production, import substitutions and a considerate approach to foreign investment. Doing business with Russian companies is distinguished by specific business environment and international competition.
In relations with the Russian Federation, Slovenia remains committed to the EU foreign policy and develops bilateral relations on the basis of sovereign partnership. A continued dialogue has been established between the Republic of Slovenia and the Russian Federation, and regular high-level meetings contribute to the strengthening of comprehensive bilateral cooperation between the two countries. An important tool for deepening cooperation in the trade, economic, scientific and technical fields is the Intergovernmental Commission, co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia and the Minister of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation. The last meeting of the Commission was held in June 2019 in Slovenia.
Good results of cooperation between the two countries are reflected in statistical indicators. Russia is the 9th most important trading partner of Slovenia. In the first ten months of 2019, trade between the two countries amounted to 1.97 billion Euros, which means a 28% increase compared to 2018. The increase in commodity circulation is mainly due to an increase in energy imports from the Russian Federation and a decrease in Slovenian exports in recent years is due to the localization of production in Russia as a result of international sanctions. 41% of Slovenian exports are pharmaceuticals, 85% of imports are mineral fuels and aluminum.
The Russian Federation ranks 5th in terms of direct Slovenian investments abroad. At the end of 2018, they amounted to 356.8 million Euros, right after the markets of the former Yugoslavia. The volume of direct Russian investments in Slovenia at the end of 2018 amounted to 188.6 million Euros, a 4% increase compared to the previous year. Russia is one of the key markets for Slovenian tourism and ranks 10th in the number of nights spent by tourists. In 2018, Slovenia received the "Best Spa Resort" Award at the MITT International Tourism Exhibition in Moscow.
Economic cooperation between Slovenia and the Russian regions is regulated on the basis of memoranda of cooperation concluded with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia. There are currently nine of them: with the Moscow, Samara, Leningrad, Ulyanovsk, Yaroslavl and Vladimir regions, the Altai Territory, the Republic of Tatarstan and the city of Moscow.
The Russian market is considered quite specific, and the companies that enter the market should be aware of this. When opening representative offices and companies, it is recommended to work with lawyers / consultants who can complete the opening process and prepare the necessary acts within three to five weeks. It is necessary to follow the procedures necessary for accrediting a representative office and issuing work visas both for Slovenian citizens and for foreign workers in representative offices. The level of expenses for the maintenance of representative offices or enterprises (especially in Moscow and large regional centers) is high, as well as international competition.
The problems of doing business are associated with frequent inspections of the activities of foreign companies by various administrative (fiscal, sanitary, etc.) government bodies and frequent changes or additions to tax laws and business rules.
Among the factors hindering the acceleration of modernization of the Russian economy and more efficient work of foreign economic entities, it should be noted the complex system of state administration at all levels (federal, regional and local), lack of transparency, arbitrary interpretation of legislation and regulatory acts by administrative bodies, inconsistency in the implementation of certain administrative regulations (changing the "rules of the game"), which leads to a complication of administrative procedures of various kinds.
Slovenian consulates led by honorary consuls have been opened in St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Yekaterinburg. The Russian-Slovene Club of Businessmen also operates in Togliatti.
- Izvozno okno: ("Export window") - information about the Russian business environment, cooperation with Slovenia, doing business in the Russian market, creating companies, business opportunities in Russia.
- Rusko-slovenski poslovni klub v Togliattiju (Russian – Slovene Club of Businessmen in Togliatti)